Draft Spec mark 2

Leigh Dodds ldodds at INGENTA.COM
Fri Sep 1 13:29:25 CEST 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: TDWG - Structure of Descriptive Data [mailto:TDWG-SDD at usobi.org]On
> Behalf Of Una Smith
> Sent: 01 September 2000 13:18
> To: TDWG-SDD at usobi.org
> Subject: Re: Draft Spec mark 2
> On Fri, 1 Sep 2000, Erik Westlin wrote:
> >Plant descriptive data is much to complex to be captured in XML which is
> >more geared towards presentation than representation.
> I'll second that.  I use LaTeX, and previously used a precursor to SGML,
> to typeset all my printed documents.  These *typesetting* languages are
> great for defining the appearance of the content of documents, but they
> are utterly inadequate for representing the content (ie., data) itself.

XML is *not* a typesetting language. Its a meta-language for defining other
just as SGML was. It is *not* limited to describing documents, and its far
from being a limited to describing layout.

My own doodlings with XML and Taxonomic data [1] shows that the DELTA
format can be expressed as XML without loss of information.

Its probably too early to get mired in syntax discussions - at present it
may be better to assume that all examples merely that - not formal
proposals for how the serialised data should look.

The model is the important issue at the moment. Once that is nearing
decisions on a serialisation syntax (XML or something else) can then be
made in highlight of concrete examples and data.

Personally speaking, I'd be surprised if there were aspects of a taxonomic
data model which *couldn't* be adequately expressed in XML. At most
I'd expect there to be some contortions in the syntax, rather than a
inability to represent the data. The question is then, how much does the
'sugar' outweigh the network effect of embracing a standard like XML.

My 2p.

[1]. http://www.ldodds.com/delta/index.html


Leigh Dodds, Systems Architect       | "Pluralitas non est ponenda
http://weblogs.userland.com/eclectic |    sine necessitate"
http://www.xml.com/pub/xmldeviant    |     -- William of Ockham

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